Monday, March 10, 2014

The Ides of March cannot come soon enough

I don't know if there is such a thing, but I think March 10th should officially be called The End of My Rope Day.  We can make it collective: The End of Our Rope(s) Day.  First because everyone I know except for me is sick of winter (ours has been rather mild so I could do this all year).  & a good chunk of people I know are really ready for the semester to end (again not me, I don't begin my Spring semester duties until this Thursday-long story about fumigating & my natural & sublime skills in inertia), 

But March 10th has a long history of "I have HAD IT".  Let me expand...expound....who cares:

In 1629, Charles I told parliament to suck it & ruled solo for eleven years.  This was not even the first time he turned his back on parliament, it was the third.  What happened next was called either Eleven Years of Tyranny or The Period of Great Reform, depending on who you were.  It is all very interesting actually, but not what I want to talk about now.  Right now I want to talk about today & today Charles I said "I have really had it with you people" although probably not in those exact words.  I like to imagine him saying "Get thee to a nunnery" while wearing those snazzy shoes he has on in his portrait by Van Dyck (hey, is that where the Van Dyck facial hair got named? It is! Marvelous).  & I mean the one with the cape, not the one with the horse.

So Charles I says sayonara to parliament, what else?  There is the Louisiana Purchase in 1804.  If this doesn't seem like a hand washing moment, think about it from Napoleon's perspective:  influx of cash for a very prickly bit of real estate acquired less than five years before.  I have no idea why he bought it, but after he did the natives started getting very restless worrying about the little Corsican banning slavery while other French territories started balking at the idea of slavery being reinstated & after a few short years of this, Napoleon was happy to flip it. 

A bit further on, also in France (1831) that last bastion of last resorts- the French Foreign Legion -was founded.  It doesn't get much press nowadays but once upon a time, the French Foreign Legion was where you went when you had nothing to live for.  Also, it makes a great opener for mummy movies.

In 1922, they arrested Ghandi.  It didn't go over quite as intended, but on the day I imagine the British were happy to check that little agitator off their list & get on with the business of the empire.

In 1945 the US firebombed Tokyo.  They had been trying to negotiate an unconditional surrender from a culture that barely understood survivable surrender & things really just went to hell from there. 

I think I will end this little review in 1980 when Jean Harris shot Hy Tarnower, the Scarsdale Diet Doctor after years of a strange relationship & days before the pills she was detoxing from arrived by mail...from the doctor himself.

So here we are:  Monday morning right after the clocks lose an hour.  Seems like the perfect day to mutter darkly into our coffee about how we are really sick of this shit.  I say we make it a DAY. 

1 comment:

  1. Like Charles I, we should definitely say goodbye to winter, not parliament, especially now when we are all grouchy from the time change.